AKRON (Nov. 2) — While Goodyear said it intends to close its Tyler, Texas, tire plant, it posted a letter to United Steelworkers members on its negotiations Web site that said it was proposing to continue job security provisions at all of the other master contract facilities.
In addition, Goodyear confirmed it was "selectively adding temporary workers in all strike-affected plants to continue serving customers," a company spokesman said.
The letter to USW members was from Jim Allen, Goodyear global labor relations director, who said it was meant "to correct misinformation and ensure that you and your families know the facts about the negotiations."
Besides plant protection, the letter touched on other parts of the company´s proposal, including such things as wages, pensions, benefits, cost-of-living adjustments, retiree medical costs and capital investments.
As for hiring temporary workers, a Goodyear spokesman declined to give specific information on plant-by-plant implementation, but said the workers were to be in all the plants by the end of last week.
"The temporary workers will be trained in safety and quality procedures to ensure their seamless addition to our operations," he said. Goodyear also has been using salaried workers since the strike began to try to keep an undisclosed amount of production going.
The USW disputes the firm´s contention that it can make safe, quality products at the plants while its experienced work force is on strike. "The company´s decision to bring in unskilled and untrained temporary workers from the street is another weak attempt to convince our customers and investors that everything's alright," said Tom Conway, a USW vice president who is serving as union chairman in the negotiations with Goodyear.
The Steelworkers referred to studies conducted after the Bridgestone/Firestone recall in 2000 that claimed the conditions surrounding the strike at that time and the hiring of replacement workers "could easily lead to the production of defective tires."